Thursday night I was invited to go out to the U.S. Marine bar at the U.S. Embassy by a friend who is engaged to an embassy worker. I felt honored to be able to go to their monthly event. As it turned out, anyone can go if they sign up ahead of time on their Facebook page.
The natural question that most people may be asking is, "Why are there U.S. Marines in Abu Dhabi?" They are here to protect the Embassy. Every U.S. Embassy around the world and some Consulates have Marines guarding them. Naturally, the Marines need lodging and something to keep them occupied.
The bar itself was pretty nice with outdoor seating. After a few minutes, I realized that the bar is part of the Marines' living quarters which was pretty spacious. They can leave when they are off duty, but there always have to be some of them on-duty and if they have a place to hang out, they can all hang out together. Once a month, they have an event in which outsiders can come, thus bringing the party to the Marines. People don't even have to be American, though they do have to be over 21 years old.
I asked one of them about the assignment and he said that any U.S. Marine is eligible after two years of service, though most don't know about it so few apply. They guys that I talked to liked it. They commit to three years of Embassy service, two 18 month stints.
I thought the atmosphere was pretty good with prices cheaper than you would find in most bars in Abu Dhabi. There seemed to be a number of regulars. If you're interested, check out their Facebook page and sign up to be notified of events. Be forewarned, if you're interested in going, sign up early because space is limited.